Traces of the cult of AR in archaeology. Many values of the material culture discovered during the archaeological excavations in the Armenian highlands testify to the deep antiquity and prevalence of the worship of the ancient Armenian sun god AR.
Our ancient ancestors observed and studied the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, the elements of nature and disasters and depicted what they saw and felt in their own way. The study of the discovered archaeological materials shows that there are many ornaments on them with the images of the sun, moon, stars, earth and other planets, but there are many images of the sun. Our ancestors depicted the sun in geometric shapes: cross, circle, swastika, animals and birds: lion, horse, bull, ram, eagle, and later in human form: Ar, Aramazd, Vahagn, Mihr.
For the study of the sun and its symbols are important BC. The petroglyphs of Aragats, Geghama Mountains, Syunik, Nakhichevan, Metsamor dating back to the 5th-3rd millennia. On rock paintings, the sun is depicted in the form of a radial wheel, a cross. According to studies, the wheel disc depicting the sphere of the sun was one of the most common in Armenia, Sumer, Babylon, Egypt, and Assyria. At the moment of its rotation, the sun was depicted as a wheel, the rays as bars, and the process as a rotation of the wheel. In one of the Gegham petroglyphs, the sun is depicted in the form of a radial wheel with a large bird on it, its beak pointing to the fire ball.
There are petroglyphs expressing the sun-moon connection, one of which depicts a mace-shaped moon, and the sun in the mace-moon. On a seal of the kingdom of Van, where the hero with a bow is fighting against a dragon, above them is depicted a mace-moon and sun.
In the Armenian petroglyphs, the sun-cross is depicted with four-winged, framed, equal-winged and unequal-winged figures, as in the Gegham petroglyphs.
The worship of God with its deep antiquity, beautiful features and peaceful nature had a great influence on the formation of the beliefs of our ancestors, the Armenian language, culture, lifestyle and customs. The name of the god Ar is especially significant in Armenian personal and geographical names.
The name of the sun god AR in Armenian-Armenian and Armenian personal and geographical names. Scientists dealing with issues of Armenian history and culture were interested in the emergence of Armenian and Armenian names. M. Khorenatsi, one of the first Armenian historians, connects it with the movement of Hayk’s generations after the battle between Hayk and Bel. He comments that the name Hay came from Hayk, and “Armen”, “Armenik” from the name of Hayk’s great-grandson, Aram. These explanations of Khorenatsi were considered indisputable for a long time. However, from time to time attempts were made to explain the origin of Armenian and Armenian names in a new way. From the beginning of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, European scientists began to be interested in the history and culture of Armenians and Armenia, as well as in the issues of the origin of Armenian and Armenian names.
A group of scientists is trying to explain the Armenian name with the Indo-European piti-pet, the main word, as if the new Armenians called themselves that in order to distinguish themselves from the natives. Later, Putin transformed into an Armenian. P. Yentsn believed that the Armenian name originated from the ethnic names of the Hittites, Hat, Hatio. N. Mar connects the name Armenian with the name of the Haniyalars or Heniochs tribe who invaded Armenia in the 6th century BC. L. Shahinyan in his work “The book from the depths of the centuries” rejects all non-Croatian points of view. Scientists accepted Khorenatsi’s point of view that the country named after Hayk should be called Hayk, Armenia, and Armenia named after Aram. However, with time, new questions arose, and if Hayk Nahapet took his name from the name Hay, Hayk, when did the name Armenian appear, why do foreigners call us Armenians, which name is the oldest, etc.?
Studies show that in ancient times, the main gods of the tribe had a great role in the consolidation and formation of the given tribe. Often the formed tribe called itself after the name of the worshiped main god. For example, the Assyrians named themselves after the god Assur-Ashshur. It is known that the ancient main god in the Armenian highlands was Ar, so it can be thought that the natives called themselves ar-har after the name of the god Ar, and the cradle – ARARAT, HARK-HAIK.
In ancient written sources, we also come across facts when “ar” appears in the form of “har”. For example: In Khorenatsi’s “History of Armenians” we find the form HARK, and in the Behistunian trilingual inscription of the Persian king Darius I, the Elamite original uses the form HARMINUYA for Armenia /ARMENIA in Persian, URARTU in Akkadian/. In the same inscription, the Elamite original uses the form harri for the Old Persian form aria. In the southern parts of the Armenian Highlands, around Lake Vana and further south BC. One of the state formations created in the middle of the 2nd millennium – HARI – the inhabitants of Mitani country called themselves Hari people, and the country called Hari country. Based on this fact, it is quite possible that our ancestors called themselves Ar-Har. In this case, M. Gavukchyan’s conclusion is correct that later the “r” sound of the name Har became “y” – Armenian and Hayk, which is more pleasant and easier to pronounce.
Khorenatsi used the names ARARAD country /south of Vana lake/, HARK /northwest of Vana lake/, HAIK/around Vana lake, then the entire Armenian highlands/ and ARMENIA. We notice that among all these names there is the name of god AR. It can be assumed that the HARK mentioned by Khorenatsi does not mean the country of Armenians, but is simply a geographical name, a country name. Paying attention to Khorenatsi’s testimony that Hayk, leaving Babylon, settled in the land of ARARAT /in the Sumerian epic ARATTA 4-3 AD/, so there was already a country called ARARAT. And Patriarch Hayk, who is most likely a real person, stood out for his courage, honesty and uprightness, left a deep mark in the memory of the people. That gave Mar Abbas, Khorenatsi and other historians the basis to consider Hayk as the ancestor of Armenians. Therefore, it can be said that the name Hayk originated from the Armenian name of our people and not the other way around.
The neighbors also called the inhabitants of the Armenian highlands Armenian, Arman, which means the one who is made, a man of strength. In ancient times, the Indo-European roots “ma” and “me” had the meaning to beget, to give birth.
We also meet ARME-SHUPRIA, ERMANI and other names. All these are different names of the same tribe, the same people. Therefore, the ancient names of our country, ARATTAN and ARARAD, are composed of AR, the god of the sun, and “at”, the place name.
The Armenian highlands, where the created state formations were known by the names ARATTA, ARARADI, HARK-HAIK, ARMENIA, were inhabited by Armenian /ar-har/ people of the Armenian tribe who worshiped the AR god. It was not at all necessary that the entire territory of the Armenian Highlands should be included in one state formation at the same time. The tribes of the Armenian highlands were separated from each other by high mountains, steep valleys, gorges, fast-flowing rivers and forests, which made it difficult to communicate with each other. Therefore, state formations could emerge in different parts of the highlands. The established state must have wanted to extend its rule over the entire tribe, uniting it. This was the case during the reign of Van, when the kings of Van tried to unite the tribes of Ararat. After the kings of Van, at the beginning of our era, Tigran the Great (95-55 BC) achieved great success, who managed to unite the large and small sovereign state formations and tribes of the Armenian highlands and create a powerful state.
In contrast to the Kingdom of Van and the power created by Tigran the Great, which became powerful and included the entire Great Armenian, we had the kingdoms of Syunik, Lori, Kars, Aghvank and Karabakh emirates. Therefore, from prehistoric times, the tribes living in the Armenian highlands worshiped the solar god AR, after which those tribes were called Armenian/ar-har/ and Armenian, and the vast area where the Armenians lived was called ARARAT, HAIK, ARMENIA.
In no other country in the world is it possible to find as many personal and geographical names starting with “ar” as in Armenia. We find personal names with “ar” mentioned in writing in BC. From the 2nd millennium onwards. They are the names of the kings of the HARRI-MITAN country, one of the states formed in the south of the Armenian highlands, which reached us thanks to the discovery of the royal divans of Tel-El-Amarnai /Egypt/ and Bogazkyo /Turkey/. Among those names are: Artatama, Artashumara, Artamanya. Those names are written in the Akkadian-Babylonian language and cuneiform, which affected the correct spelling and pronunciation of the name, as the names were adapted to a foreign language and cuneiform.
M. Khorenatsi’s work “History of Armenians” mentions the names of 11 Armenian patriarchs, 5 of which begin with AR: Aramanyak, Aramayis, Harma, Aram, Ara Ghetsaki. Then Artavazd, Artashes, Ariobarzan, Arshak, Arsham, Artavan, Arkheghaios, Arshavir, Artashir and other names are mentioned.
In the inscriptions of the kings of the kingdom of Van, we find the names Arame, Argishti, Erimena, to which are added Artak, Aramazd, Armen, Armenak, Artem, Artan, Arsen, Areg, Arbak, Artsrun, Armanush, Arevik, Armine, Arpi, Armenuhi and other names.
Not only the tribe and the cradle, but also many geographical names of the Armenian highlands: rivers, mountains, settlements, buildings and cities were named after the god AR: Ararat, Aragats, Araks, Aratsani, Areguni, Artaz, Areni, Armavir, Artashat, Arches, Artsakh, Artamet, Armash, Artsn and others.
The worship of God is in the blood and essence of a sun-worshipping Armenian, it is his homeland, his names, holy places, rivers, mountains. It is in the wonderful Armenian language, lifestyle, customs, songs, dances, epics, fairy tales, conversations. We have lived with them for millennia. We are the descendants of a proud, beautiful, honest, dignified, kind and brave ancient tribe living in the Armenian Highlands from time immemorial, whose gods (Ar, Aramazd, Vahagn, Mihr, Anahit) are beautiful in their nature and characteristics.
1. H. Mnatsakanyan, Traces of Sun Worship in Ancient Armenia, Yerevan, 1948.
2. M. Khorenatsi, “History of Armenians”, Yerevan, 1981.
3. M. Gavukchyan, “The origin of Armenian and Armenian names and Urartu”, Beirut, 1973.
4. A. Teryan, “The Worship of God in Armenia”, Yerevan, 1995.
5. St. Yesayan, “Archeology of Armenia”, Yerevan, 1993.